|Trinidad & Tobago||Cuba|
|Gary Glasgow (52')|
Densill Theobald (73')
|2007-01-20||Hasely Crawford Stadium||Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago||10000|
Scintillating show as Soca Warriors advance to Digicel Cup final
|The Trinidad and Tobago senior national football beat the Caribbean Football Union’s number one team, Cuba, 3-1 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on Saturday to advance to the final of the 2007 Digicel Caribbean Cup.|
There was little in the way of a feeling out period as the teams got down to business from almost the first minute. Cuba was ready for a fight and the local boys appeared to be fully up to it.
In the 8th minute T&T got off its first shot after Leslie “Tiger’ Fitzpatrick, fought off his marker, chipped the ball to Gary Glasgow, who laid off the ball to Kerwyn “Hardest” Jemmott, his shot stretched Odelin Hernandez but was just wide.
The next minute Darryl Roberts freed himself atop the area but scuffed his shot wide.
Cuba’s sublime short passing promised to wreak havoc and the T&T midfield and defence remained vigilant, ever aware of their opponents’ guile.
T&T dodged a bullet when Alain Cervantes was allowed to control Ariel Martinez’s chipped pass from the right wing in the area, with time and space however, his low shot was on the wrong side of Jan Michael Williams’ far post.
Glasgow had his first miss of the match in the 21st minute when Jemmott played a smart through-ball into space, but with Hernandez at his mercy he put his shot into his body to the surprise of the local fans.
There was a collective sigh of disappointment and disbelief throughout the venue with many members of the crowd hoping that there would not be many more moments like that in this match.
In the 31st Roberts started and finished a swift T&T counter attack, involving Kerry Baptiste and Jemmott, with a blast that went high over the Cuba crossbar, not a goal, but a good omen for the T&T team.
In the 33rd Glasgow somehow failed to put his header at the end of Baptiste’s cross on target, but Baptiste won the ball back and won a free kick.
In the 41st T&T’s pressure produced the match’s first goal, Glasgow controlled the ball in the middle of two Cuba defenders, one of them Jenier Marquez Molina, the captain, swung to clear the ball, instead it took a meaty deflection, looped over Hernandez and bounced over the line.
Though it appeared to be an own goal, the strike was credited to Glasgow.
Five minutes into the second period of play Jan was called into action when he had to hit the turf to save Osvaldo Alonso low shot.
In the 54th Osei Telesford showed why his reputation was growing every time he stepped on the pitch in the competition, when he put in a hard but skilful sliding tackle on Cervantes who was bearing down on goal.
T&T was piling on the pressure from the wings with Baptiste first and then Fitzpatrick sending in well weighted crosses and it was Baptiste’s second aerial ball into the box that found Glasgow’s head and gave T&T its second goal in the 57th.
With the crowd now fully behind the T&T team, the new look Warriors began to look more relaxed in all areas of the pitch.
Nigel Daniel supported Williams well to take the ball off the line after the T&T custodian was beaten by Cervantes in the 59th and Glasgow almost made it 3-0 in the 60th, but his header off Baptiste’s cross was wide.
Cuba, for the most part, was being put off its rhythm every time its midfield tried to re-establish itself.
T&T captain Densill Theobald scored T&T’s third in the 73rd.
Jemmott left his defender for dead, crossed to Glasgow who had the presence of mind to control the ball and cut it back on top to Theobald, his shot took a deflection which wrong footed Hernandez on its way into the net—T&T leading 3-0.
Leonel Duarte, on for Ariel Martinez, gave Cuba a consolation strike off More’s low cross that went across the T&T area unclaimed by any of the T&T defenders.
Seon Power came up with some defensive heroics to deny the Cubans a second, coming back late to head Clavelo’s cross into touch with More open on Williams’ last post.
Inside time added on T&T’s midfield began to toy with their opponents, frustration set in and Alonso put in a rash tackle on Roberts.
It was his second bookable offence and following a moment of confusion referee Cortney Campbell showed him the red card and gave him his marching orders.
The sending off was met with the usual jeers and the final whistle was met with the jubilant cheers of a satisfied sea of red white and black.
The Densill Theobald led Trinidad and Tobago team will now meet Haiti in the finals of the Digicel Caribbean Cup on Tuesday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, after Haiti disposed of Guadeloupe by the same 3-1 margin in the other semi-final.
T&T: Jan Michael Williams, Makan Hislop, Osei Telesford, Leslie Fitzpatrick (Kwame Wiltshire 78th), Kerwin Jemmott, Darryl Roberts, Gary Glasgow (Joel Bailey 86th), Kerry Baptiste (Hayden Tinto 78th), Seon Power, Nigel Daniel, Densill Theobald.
Cuba: Odelin Hernandez, Silvio Pedro Minoso, Jenier Marquez Molina, Jose Clavelo, Osvaldo Alonso, Ariel Martinez (Leonel Duarte 60th), Alain Cervantes, Lester More, Jaine Colome, Gisbel Morales, Pedro Faife (Yordanis Alvarez 83rd).
Referee: Courtney Campbell (Jamaica)
Trinidad & Tobago Cuba
3 Goals 1
7 Shots on Target 5
3 Corners 5
1 Offsides 3
1 Yellow Cards 3
0 Red Cards 1
6 Fouls 10
|79' Kwame Wiltshire|
|18.||Densill Theobald (capt.)|
|78' Hayden Tinto|
|86' Joel Bailey|
|78'||Hayden Tinto for Kerry Baptiste|
|79'||Kwame Wiltshire for Leslie Fitzpatrick|
|86'||Joel Bailey for Gary Glasgow|